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Home Maintenance  /  January 16, 2019

How to Troubleshoot Your Thermostat

Most types of heating and cooling system problems are easily fixed by making sure the thermostat is working. In today’s post by Handyman Connection® of Lexington-Nicholasville, we provide a quick guide on how to troubleshoot your thermostat.

Reset the Thermostat

Most types of thermostats have a reset button that can be accessed by removing a panel or by pressing it using a small pointed object like a ballpoint pen. Always start with a reset when troubleshooting your HVAC system.

Replace the Batteries

If the thermostat still isn’t responding, you may need to replace the batteries. Most thermostats can be removed from the wall-mounted baseplate, which will give you access to the batteries. Before you remove the thermostat, turn off your HVAC system. Clean the baseplate and the electronic contacts using a static-free brush before reattaching the thermostat. Perform a reset then check if it works.

Jog the Thermostat Temperature

Certain types of thermostats may just need to get “jogged” if it has been set at the same temperature for so long. First, get a room thermometer, and check the current temperature. Then, set the thermostat temperature to a few degrees higher or lower than your usual setting. Wait for several minutes, and see if the room thermometer reflects the change. Set the thermostat back to your original setting, and again check the thermometer.

Mechanical Thermostats With a Mercury Switch

If your thermostat uses a mercury switch – a small vial filled with mercury, which expands as it reacts to temperature changes – use a torpedo level to make sure the thermostat is mounted level on the wall. Even the slightest misalignment can cause the thermostat to misread temperatures. Certain types of thermostat baseplates have elongated holes that let you make slight adjustments. If this is not the case, you will need to reinstall the thermostat to correct the alignment problem.

Failing all these, you may either need a new thermostat or the problem lies somewhere else. Fortunately, finding an HVAC technician is just a phone call away. Call Handyman Connection of Lexington-Nicholasville today at (859) 274-4477, and let us help you look into your thermostat’s problem.

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